As much as we don’t like to hear it, majority of us work for money. But out of the trillions of people on earth, very few people have their money working for them. From janitors, up to the employed executive CEO, everyone is trading their time and skills for money. Essentially, every one of us are traders and the commodities we trade in are our time, skills and competencies – in exchange for money.
The truth is, we are investing our time, health and youth to earn an income, but they are going to fail us at some point – especially if we do not take proper care of our health and physique. Also, whether we like it or not, we will all age and lose our ability to trade in our time for money. So what happens then?
Money, to me, is a means to an end. My income, if well utilized, can be used as a tool to pave the way for sustainable wealth through residual income. I recognized, very early in life, that to maximize my effort to my advantage, it is crucial to learn the rudiments of long-term investing.
There are so many articles, videos, and tutorials on how to make money. But you need a better understanding of how to maximize and leverage your income strategically to bring you sustainable wealth through passive income.
I was chatting with an individual when he said: “I don’t want to own a business because I don’t want to have to go through all the processes of starting a business”. That perspective in itself isn’t bad, but what he forgot is, he is trading his time for money and that has made him a subliminal businessman.
Working 9-5 year in and year out without proper planning of the income generated from exchanging your time for money is foolishness and you are shortchanging yourself. You will wake up one day and realize you have wasted the most productive years of your life.
We all have a tiny window of time to make money and make a difference that’ll sustain us when we are no longer capable of earning an income. It is vital to keep learning transferable skills in other to increase our earning potential.
To ensure sustainable wealth, it is important to note that paid employment does not guarantee wealth. Our salaries are calculated based on our physical, intellectual effort and the value we provide an organization. The lower the value provided, the lower your income and vice versa.
Your income is the tool you need to build wealth, if the money earned is put to good use. Learning how to convert your earned income into passive income is the most important decision you will ever make to secure your future and ultimately, the future of your children.
There are different ways to make money: we earn money through income, profit from business(es), winning a lottery, trust left to us or inherited wealth. For the purpose of this article, I will lay more emphasis on earned income – which is the same as our salary.
Earning an income is the reason many of us wake up at 5am to start getting ready for work. We tolerate traffic congestion, endure aggressive commuters who are in a hurry to get to their destination thereby risking our lives. When I was living in Alagbado area of Lagos Nigeria, I wake up every day at 5am to get ready for work. The company I worked for at the time was in Victoria Island. At a point, I was forced to ask myself if it was really worth all the trouble I had to endure.
Working in the US is a different ball game – a different kind of hard-knock where only the fittest survive. With so many bills to pay and products to buy with limited income, you cannot afford not to have a nest egg account.
Bill payment and consumer products are probably the reasons why many Americans live pay cheque-to-pay cheque. It is essential for strengthening the American economy. Depending on what your core values are, it is mandatory to strengthen your own asset column in order to live comfortably during retirement.
Working to pay the next bill isn’t going to cut it when we are old, frail and have lost the functionality required to earn a living. The society we live in forces us to consume and materialism is the root cause of the problems the world is experiencing and the reason we are unable to save money.
Millennials need to understand that Mr Bill won’t stop knocking every month. Fancy clothes and designer bags will keep flooding our marketplaces. Consumer product company won’t stop producing, hence the need to apply the law of intentionality to every purchase. We also need to understand the differences between asset and liability, net and gross income/profit.
Basically, human needs and wants are unlimited but we have limited time to work to save enough earned income to invest in sustainable assets that will generate passive income to maintain our lifestyles. It is vital to cultivate and practice self-discipline, a healthy money-saving culture, as well as learning to invest in order to leverage the power of compound interest.
I will be sharing 5 ways through which you can invest and put that hard-earned income to work – some of which I have practiced and earn a substantial ROI on. It is refreshing to know that you can start small by putting at least 10% of your earnings in high interest yielding savings account, then invest it when it matures.
People close to me can attest to my love for real estate. The reason why it is called REAL estate is because it is the only investment that is real, manageable and sustainable. It is a high interest yielding asset. I am a player in this industry because I have come to understand that your estate works in your stead. It neither gets tired, give you attitude nor steal from you. It stands tall and withstands all weather conditions without complaints.
Your tenants pay you rents out of their earned income. You earn passive income (cash-flow and capital gains) through real estate. Also, your land and the improvements on it increases in value over-time. The fundamental component of real estate is location and proper documentation. It is paramount to get in-depth knowledge about real estate before venturing into it.
Start a Business
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. There is nothing wrong with being an employee because you’d rather not deal with the stress that comes with operating a business.
However, if you want to invest in any business, I’ll suggest you search yourself to see if you have the grits to succeed at being your own boss or you can become a venture capitalist by investing in startups. It is not news that we live in a capitalist society where people make money – regardless of market volatility. Basically, generating funds, identifying a need, designing a product to match the needs while making a profit, is business.
Establishing a business can generate a lot of ROI – as long as you have knowledge about the market you intend to penetrate. You will also need extensive knowledge about the differences between capital, expenses, profit and loss and how they impact business growth. Taxes, Government compliance, marketing, sales, permits and licenses are also fundamentally important to business growth and sustainability.
Essentially, before starting a business, you must arm yourself with adequate information about the industry regulations in order to get a better understanding of what you are involving yourself in. This is a good way to avoid pitfalls and prevent liabilities.
Invest in Money Market
If you, by any chance, have an investable fund you wouldn’t need in a year or two, it is feasible to open a Money Market mutual fund account with your bank. MM instruments include, but are not limited to, Treasury Bills, Certificate of Deposit. Even though there is a high level of safety in terms of your investment, it is often characterized by relatively low-interest rates and penalties for multiple withdrawals. Personally, I would prefer high-interest yielding savings account for liquidity.
Also known as Word of Mouth Advertisement, the concept of this method of business is quite simple: when you use a product and find it exceptionally valuable, you tell your friends about it and get them to use it. They, in turn, recommend it to their friends who, in turn, recommend it to their friends and you get paid from their effort.
The earnings you make from the effort of your down lines are called passive or residual income. To invest in MLM, you must ensure you find a company with viable products that serve a crucial need and have good track records. You must possess and demonstrate leadership qualities and have in-depth knowledge about the product the company is offering.
I am an amateur in this area of investing because I’d rather not deal with the complexities I have no control over. Despite having a few stocks here and there, I don’t follow up with stock markets. When you invest in the stock of a company, you automatically have a share of their profit. The revenue generated from this type of investment portfolio is called a dividend.
To get started, understand that the stock market is no place for short term investment. You will need a minimum of 5 years to maximize your returns. Contact a stockbroker, open a brokerage account. Invest only in businesses you understand. Avoid high volatility stocks until you understand how the stock market works. Be open to learning how to diversify your portfolios to eliminate the risks of putting all your eggs in one basket.
It is important to note that cash is king. With your income, wages or profits, you can actually build wealth. The journey will not be easy and undemanding but with self-discipline, determination and money mastery, you will build a solid financial foundation for your future and your next generation.